For a second time, Jesus speaks peace over the disciples. When something is repeated in scripture, it is a clear assurance of its truth. We see this throughout the psalms, and it strengthens faith. This peace is confirmed by the gift of the Holy Spirit. This third person of the Trinity, who is God, resides within us to lead us into all truth. (John 16:13;)
It has taken me years to enter into the peace that Jesus promised. Or, more accurately, to become familiar and comfortable with the reality that my life is secure in God’s hands.
Knowing God’s peace and living in God’s peace often proved mutually exclusive. I still waver and need to make choices about my faith commitment. When I was a youth worker I presented faith with a trust exercise. I’d ask someone if they were confident I’d catch them if they fell backwards.
Getting their assent was’t hard. But when testing their confidence it was often different. I’d stand behind them and ask them to fall backwards on the count of three. They would start to lean backwards, yet often, at the point of no return, they’d put one leg back to steady themselves. A few would trust in my promise and they came to rest safely in my arms and I pushed them back into an upright position.
Peace is not about living a comfortable life. It’s the learning that, no matter what I face, I can confidently fall backwards into the trustworthy arms of God.
Jesus commissions his disciples to live as he has lived, in total devotion and confidence in God. He breathes the Holy Spirit on them. Their next encounter with the Spirit is at Pentecost. This second encounter offers them the full assurance that God is indeed with them to the end of the age, and so they move beyond fear and boldly live life in God’s active service.
Something to Consider: Am I confident allowing myself to fall back into God’s arms? (Deuteronomy 33:27)
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, breath Your spirit afresh on me today as I live in Your peace and serve You in mission.’
Photo by Uta Scholl on Unsplash
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